Flying with an Infant

11 Jan

Willy Wonka has crossed the Atlantic Ocean six times and he’s just 6 months.  Before my first flight with Wonka I had major anxiety as he was just one month old.  To cure my anxiety I read over blogs and forums on the best way to fly with an infant.  Surprisingly (sarcasm) not too many people offered good information about flying with a four week old.  Yes, I’m the crazy lady who took her new bundle of joy on an international flight at such a young age.

After flying six times with Willy Wonka I’ve got a few tips.  I’ve done my trips in multiple ways: alone, with help, with a lay over, with a direct flight, with a stroller, without a stroller…

Jet Set Baby Boy

Jet Set Baby Boy

DO… pack extra clothes for the baby and yourself.  Pack lots of extra diapers and wipes. For some strange reason Wonka enjoys having a nice blowout diaper right after passing through security.

DO… bring ziplock bags for dirty clothes and bottles

DON’T… put all your things in one giant diaper bag.  It gets disorangized no matter how hard you try to keep things tidy.  I found having two smaller bags works better.  One bag for imediate needs (a few diapers, wipes, a bottle, a toy) and one bag for surplus items(more diapers, pump, forumula, clothes).  The bag with surplus items stays in the overhead bin until you need it.

DO… plan ahead and reserve the baby bassinet in the bulkhead area.  Also call and confirm with the airline a million times (I had a horrible experience with Luftansa and wonderful experiences with Turkish Airlines).

DO… bring a toy or two. Even at one month I brought Willy Wonka a book with bright colors just for looking.

DON’T… be afraid to say what you need on the plane.  If you need to adjust with another passenger, ask.  If you need help from the stewards, ask.  Don’t wait for them to come take your meal tray 45 minutes after you’ve finished.  Just take it to the kitchen.

DO… buy these wipes.  They are wonderful for the plane.  Things drop and planes are DIRTY

DON’T… forget baby pain meds, gas meds, gripe water, ect

DO…  look for opportunities to pass lines.  Everytime I’ve flown with Willy Wonka I’ve gotten help from workers.  I’ve moved up the passport line, been checked in at comfort class, passed long lines at immigration, moved to the fast track security lines.  When people see a mom with a young baby they want to make it easy and fast for you.  Just give them the “I’m a mom face.” BAM you’re at the front.

DO… baby wear if possible.  I used my Ergo carrier for 2 of the 3 trips.  It’s much faster than using a stroller.  At times it got a little sweaty, but after exiting the aircraft you don’t have to wait for your stroller.  You also don’t have to search for elevators.  Plus airport workers are more likely to feel sorry for you and bump you ahead in lines!

Baby wearing at the airport

Baby wearing at the airport

DON’T… worry about liquids (breastmilk, water for formula).  You’re allowed to carry them through security.  I’d suggest printing this in case you encounter a difficult TSA agent.

DO… consider ready-to-feed formula.  It was so helpful when Willy Wonka got hungry in the the passport line.  Sometimes you’re just in a place where you can’t nurse or make a bottle.

DON’T… stress about a crying baby.  Willy Wonka’s first flight the baby next to us cried for 8 of the 11 hour trip.  It was horrible.  But we all survived and now it’s just a distant memory.

Getting used to Business Class

Getting used to Business Class

On our last trip back to Turkey Willy Wonka was a true jet set baby because we flew Business Class.  The easiest, most relaxing flight EVER!  We were able to lie down completely.  We slept for 5 hours together.  Sadly he didn’t get to enjoy any of the champagne, but I, clearly, did not pass up the opportunity.  It’s going to be very difficult getting used to riding in coach again.

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One Response to “Flying with an Infant”

  1. allampedup January 20, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    You need to submit this photo to a magazine (the one with Will and the headphones). It’s amazing. 🙂 Also, this advice rules. I don’t have a kid yet, but when I do, I’m coming back to this.

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